CEO of Unity on the Power of AI for the Games Industry

In a recent interview with the Associate Press, the CEO of the game engine, Unity, talked up the power of AI to improve the games industry and where it will have the most impact.

AI is bursting through every industry, causing damage and innovation wherever it goes. Like blockchain, AI has many applications and will affect and improve numerous industries, perhaps even all, however, it’s the influence they will have on gaming that interests us.

Blockchain’s value to games isn’t as linear as some make out, but it is spearheaded by digital ownership. AI’s value to games is far broader and more difficult to unpack. We’re in an experimental stage at present, with a lot of new uses being found weekly, and many are worried. There is undoubtedly going to be some impact on jobs, but John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity, said on a podcast (below) recently, “I don’t think anybody’s job on the creation side is going to be taken by an AI, but it will get taken by a human using AI.”

This is a fascinating take and one that I believe to be the case already. In most industries, those who can harness AI already have a significant advantage over those who can’t. The question remains, however, is this positive for the games industry?

I think AI will change gaming in a couple of pretty profound ways. One of them is it’s going to make making games faster, cheaper and better.

John Riccitiello, CEO of Unity

The first thing to note — and this is true of many industries — is that we’ve been using AI for some time. Generative environments for games are not a new concept, for example. Many have been outraged by Photoshop’s Generative Fill AI tool, but have used Content Aware Fill without a murmur of concern. What we’re seeing is a sudden spike in the power of AI, and for gaming, that could raise the floor, the average, and the ceiling of game quality.

One example Riccitiello gives in his interview with AP is a game he worked on: The Sims. The reason they all speak Simlish is because writing all of the interactions between characters would have been an insurmountable task. Now, AI models can resolve that in an afternoon. The salient point Riccitiello is making is that every situation that required bespoke creation can now be created by AI using parameters. This not only increases the volume of content available in games, but maintains the quality too.

It’s no secret (I harp on about it in several Mint One podcast episodes) that the concept of AI NPCs in games excites me. The example I roll out is usually about GTA where every citizen, instead of pottering around one street, has their own lives with schedules, jobs, interests, and friends, and can hold a conversation. That’s undoubtedly where we are heading and it’s just one of many ways that AI can improve the games industry.

 

 

Robert Baggs
Robert Baggs
Full-time professional crypto writer and Editor of Token Gamer. Co-host of the Mint One Podcast. Obsessed with MMOs. London based. Primary holdings: WAXP, ENJ, & BTC. Secondary holdings: ETH, GALA, & MATIC

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